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Björn Behm

on 24 January 2013

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Transcript of Underground/Alternative

MACKLEMORE (formerly Professor Macklemore)

Ben Haggerty (*June 19, 1983)


B.A. from Evergreen State College

White middle class family The Formation of Macklemore Childhood: radio enthusiast
Hip Hop fan
Started writing lyrics at 14 Nickname: Möcklimore
High school: first thoughts
on race and social status Early musical influences: East Coast underground Hip Hop; Freestyle Fellowship, Aceyalone, Living Legends, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Talib Job at juvenile detention facility

"Gateways for Incarcerated Youth"

Music workshops Macklemore X Ryan Lewis Indie artist since 2000
2008: producer Ryan Lewis

1 mixtape, 3 EPs,
2 albums (no major label) EP: Open Your Eyes as Prof. Macklemore (2000)
Album: The Language of My World (2005)
Mixtape: The Unplanned Mixtape (2009)
EP: The VS. EP (2009) (w/ Ryan Lewis)
EP: The VS. Redux (2010) (w/ Ryan Lewis)
Album: The Heist (October 9, 2012) (w/ Ryan Lewis) 2010: Dave Niehaus tribute Commercial Success: Change: teaming up with Ryan Lewis

The Heist: No. 1 US iTunes download charts, No. 2 US billboard charts,

78,000 copies sold in the first week Press voices: The Source Magazine (early 2012): „Unsigned Hype“

Cover of XXL Magazine: „Freshman Class of 2012“

Rolling Stone: "Indie rags-to-riches story". Influences and Personal Struggles: "Otherside" (2010) "Wings" (2011) Support of Gay Rights "Same Love" (2012) Macklemore & Internet: channel: 228,783 subscribers 101,293,793 views "Thrift Shop": 58,000,000 views fan loyalty: online pizza party contests Future of Hip Hop? further differentiation of genres easily accessible audience / new ways of distribution major vs. Death Grips Anarcho Hip Hop

Combination of hardcore, noise and hip hop

Known for their abrasive, lo-fi, experimental sound and no holds barred explicit lyrics

MC Ride
Zach Hill
Flatlander Death Grips Two of their three albums (Exmilitary & No Love Deep Web) released as free downloads
"...I want some more of it, I want too much

I got so bored with it, I shot it up
Wanna light my torch with it and get all fucked up

What is it, where is it, how will it affect me

Fuck that shit, I need that shits bound to be the death of me

Fuck buying it I'm taking it and sharing it with nobody..." "Spread Eagle 'Cross the Block",
Exmilitary -most conscious hip hop artists not the same level of commercial success as mainstream hip hop

-exceptions: amongst others: Talib Kweli, Nas, Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar, Common,, Mos Def

-started out as alternative/ underground artists
-audience for conscious rap is largely underground Daydreamin' (2006) Shabazz Palaces Shabazz Palaces Seattle based group

Ishmael Butler aka 'Palaceer Lazaro'
(formerly of Digable Planets)
Tendai 'Baba' Maraire

2 EPs ("Shabazz Palaces", "Of Light")
1 Full length album ("Black Up") Death Grips Aesop Rock Kendrick Lamar Aesop Rock - Real name: Ian Matthias Bavitz

- Resides and makes music in San Francisco

- Used to be signed under Definitive Jux Records
- One of the most well known and influential independent hip hop labels
- Other members: EL-P (founder), Cannibal Ox, Cage, RJD2, Del the Funky Homosapien

- Def Jux went on indefinite hiatus as of 2010 Lupe Fiasco/ Wasalu Muhammad Jaco (born February 16, 1982 in Chicago) rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur

rose to fame in 2006 following the success of his debut album Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor

developed interest in hip hop after initially disliking the genre for its use of vulgarity

has been credited as a pioneer of the conscious hip hop movement which focuses on social issues

subjects touched upon on Food & Liquor include absent parents, terrorism, Islam and religion, war, and prostitution

is strongly opposed to censorship in music Aesop Rock - Known for very abstract, dense, lyricism

- Often varying rhyme structure and flow

- Often inaccessible and difficult at first (and second and third glance)

- Only rarely "storytelling" songs

- 6 full length albums as of 2013 Aesop Rock "ZZZ Top", Skelethon (born June 17, 1987 in California) Underground Hip Hop What is Underground Hip Hop? member of hip hop supergroup Black Hippy
first gained major attention after release of his 4th mixtape (Overly Dedicated, in 2010)
first independent album to critical acclaim in 2011 (Section.80)
album good kid, m.A.A.d city (released 2012 to universal acclaim, going gold) Ronald Reagan Era(2011) Topics Ronald Reagan
drugs (crack epidemic in the 80's) What does that even mean? What does it mean in terms of hip hop music? Tech N9ne Childish Gambino Asher Roth Alternative Rap emo rap nerdcore horrorcore chopper rap geeksta rap christian hip hop country rap rapcore grime rap metal snap music hip hopera trip hop political hip hop conscious hip hop jazz rap hyphy industrial hip hop skateboard hip hop Real Name:
Active since:
First Album:
Influences: Aaron Dontez Yates
November 8, 1971
Kansas City, Missouri
13 Albums, 4 EPs, 1 Mixtape
Strange Music
Slick Rick, N.W.A, Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, Eric B. & Rakim, Schooly D, Biggie Smalls and Just-Ice Can be understood as a way of differentiating mainstream hip hop sounds and its popular styles and sounds from "other" styles and sounds of hip hop not commonly heard (and heard of)in mass media.
More idiosyncratic sounds can be found in Underground Hip hop as artists do not have the pressure of a major label behind them. Albums are not expected to be AAA releases.
Underground artists can afford to have more artistic freedom.

The term "Underground Hip Hop" in itself does not serve as a way of defining how something sounds.
As in mainstream hip hop, certain styles become more popular than others and gain coverage by media outlets, trends emerge (cloud rap, proliferation of ambient sounds, return of old trends, etc.)

Don't have the backing of a major label (Sony BMG, etc)
either under indie labels (Rhymesayers, .anticon, etc.) or self release How underground is Underground Hip Hop? What's remarkable? Slightly unhinged...
Grew up without father and ill mother
Co-founded strange music in 1999
On a quest "to find proof of god's existance"
over 1 million records sold
plays 200 shows a year Because of the internet underground has become much more accessible and easy to find.
Mixtapes and zines (in the form of blogs) can be accessed by anyone, anywhere with a minimum amount of effort
Underground does not mean unknown (at least nowadays)

Mixtapes = albums distributed via blogs and sites (2dopeboyz, datpiff, etc.) released by artists to make a name for themselves and/or as a means to sustain hype (Lil Wayne)
typically mixtapes are made up of "borrowed beats", the rappers own lines are dubbed over
THEY ARE FREE SO YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE NOT TO CHECK THEM OUT “Let me know that something’s listening when I pray for my mom at night, you know what I’m saying? I just want to know I’m actually being protected by something other than man … something divine.” - Yates, 2010 Is he underground? Mainstream? Alternative? I love College Real Name:
Active since:
First Album:
Influences: Real Name:
Active since:
First Album:
Influences: Donald McKinley Glover
September 25, 1983
suburban Atlanta, Georgia
2005 (never released)
4 Albums, 1 EP, 3 Mixtapes
Glassnote Records
LCD Soundsystem, Ghostface Killah, Kanye West, Rage Against the Machine What's remarkable? triple threat
Youtube fame
blipster, nerd
middle-class, suburban, NYU-Grad
Jehovah's witness “You don't get to where all my heroes were without giving up a part of who you are. Right now, I refuse to even have a dog. No girlfriend. I don't want anything tying me down. I want to be everywhere. I don't see a limit for me. I want to do everything. I never thought I was this type of person: Have a good time, not a long time. As a kid, I was always afraid of dying." – Gambino, 2011 "Power is what allows you to do whatever you want. If Will Smith wanted to play Hitler, they'd make that movie. That's power. I want to do a Nazi movie. I want Jay-Z and Eminem to rap on the same track with me. I'm in it for the power." - Gambino, 2011 And they used to call me Oreo, dunk me in that milk
Maybe then I will be white enough to hang out with them kids
They have to call you names when they don't know what you are
Now they know just what I are, baby girl I am a star
- Difference, 2010 Asher Paul Roth
August 11, 1985
Morrisville, Pennsylvania
1 Album, 1 EP, 5 Mixtapes
Schoolboy, SRC, Def Jam
Jay-Z, Eminem "The first CD I ever bought was Dave Matthews Band's Crash ...That is how suburban I am...I finally got into hip hop in '98 when I heard the Annie sample with Jay-Z....When I wrote my 'A Milli' freestyle, that was me listening to 10 years of hip hop and not relating to it at all. Like, Damn I don’t sell coke. Damn, I don’t have cars or 25-inch rims. I don't have guns. I finally got to a point where I had the confidence to do this thing myself, and I was making music for me. And it turns out, a lot of people feel the same way I do." - Roth, 2008 What's remarkable? "My mom was an aerobics instructor for almost 20 years of her life, and my father was a consultant. He’s still doing the consulting. Now my mom is a full-fledge astrologer. She’s one of the dopest, dopest tarot card readers ever. I’m telling you. She’s real legit. It’s not that Miss Cleo fake shit." - Roth 2008 "Rap music was the last genre coming into my house. My mom has been down with the rhythm, but it was more or less the Temptations, Earth Wind & Fire, more soul music like Stevie Wonder. That’s what she bought. My father was into Bruce Springsteen and Dire Straits. My older sister listened to Tevin Campbell and New Kids On The Block. And finally, I got into it like 98 when I was in the 6th or 7th grade when I was actually starting to develop my own opinions. It was just edgy. It was different. Your parents didn’t really want you listening to it. So it’s like, 'Ohhhh, I like this.' It just really had an impact." - Roth 2008 Every interview, feel like I'm saying the same thing
Like "Em was great, yeah he paved the way for me"
He was inspiration for everybody from A to Z
But they keep relating me, I can't get away, chasing me
(All Day Long) I hear it (All Day Long)
And now the masses think that Asher wants to be a Marshall Mathers
They say "Asher's not a rapper, nah his ass is just an actor"
Cause we have the same complexion and similar voice inflection
It's easy to see the pieces and to reach for that connection
Each second of every minute, each hour of every day
I'm constantly on the fence, defending my own name
Explaining we're not the same
- As I Em, 2009 from white suburbia
started on MySpace
often likened to Eminem On being compared to Eminem on his musical influences How suburban is he? Shabazz Palaces "Are You... Can You... Where You? (Felt)", Black Up Notable Underground/Independent Hip Hop Artists Odd Future (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All)
Young L.A. hip hop collective

anticon. (label)
Independent hip hop label with varied line-up
Subtle, Son Lux, Baths...

Rhymesayers (label)
one of the biggest indie labels
Aesop Rock, Brother Ali, MF Doom

EL-P (& Company Flow)
one of the most influential independent hip hop artists of all time
CEO of Def Jux Break - Childish Gambino What's alternative? On being a black kid in a predominantly white environment On why he does what he does I love you,
Dave! Discuss: Major is so yesterday. Everyone's indie now! "We had a song out about cocaine, guns, and women, and I would go to a record store and look at it and think, 'What are you doing?' I felt like a hypocrite. I was acting like this rapper who would never be judged, and I had to destroy that guy. Because what Lupe Fiasco says on this microphone is going to come back to Wasalu Jaco. When the music cuts off, you have to go home and live with what you say."
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